Table of Contents
I recently travelled from Seoul to the charming city of Jeonju in South Korea. As someone visiting Korea for the first time, I wanted to share my experience on the best ways to get to Jeonju from Seoul. Whether you decide to take the bus, train, or drive yourself, this guide covers everything you need to know to plan your own trip.
Jeonju is a wonderful Korean city located about 237 km south of Seoul. Famed for its Hanok Village featuring traditional Korean houses, Jeonju is a delightful destination for a day trip or weekend getaway from Seoul.
There are a few options for travelling from Seoul to Jeonju:
- Bus – Takes around 2 hours 40 minutes. Very affordable option starting from ₩22,000.
- Train – Takes 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours 25 minutes. Fastest option but more expensive than bus.
- Drive – Takes around 2 hours 10 minutes. Offers the most flexibility but requires renting a car.
In this comprehensive guide, we will cover:
- Bus, train and driving options in detail
- Prices, schedules, ticket booking
- Tips and recommendations
- And more to help you get to Jeonju easily!
Travelling from Seoul to Jeonju by Bus
Taking the intercity bus is the most affordable way to travel from Seoul to Jeonju. Here is an overview:
- Duration: 2 hours 40 minutes
- Frequency: Buses every 30 minutes
- Price: ₩22,000+
- Comfort: Standard or premium buses available
Buses run very frequently between Seoul and Jeonju – typically every 30 minutes for most of the day. The bus journey takes around 2 hours 40 minutes direct along expressways.
There are two bus terminals in Jeonju – the Express Bus Terminal and Intercity Bus Terminal. Buses from Seoul generally arrive at the Jeonju Express Bus Terminal which is also walking distance to the Intercity Terminal.
Getting to Seoul Express Bus Terminal
The Seoul Express Bus Terminal where buses to Jeonju depart from is located in Gangnam. To get there:
- Take Seoul subway Line 3, 7 or 9
- Alight at Seoul Express Bus Terminal Station stop
- Follow signs upstairs to the bus terminal
It’s easy to purchase a T-Money transportation card from any subway station or convenience store to use on Seoul’s excellent public transportation system.
Booking Seoul to Jeonju Bus Tickets
You can book bus tickets from Seoul to Jeonju online in advance via sites like Kobus. However it’s generally not necessary as there are very frequent departures.
Instead most locals and travellers simply purchase tickets on the day of travel at Seoul Express Bus Terminal. There are convenient ticket machines and counters to buy tickets for departures over the next few hours.
During peak weekends and holidays, you may want to swing by a few days early to secure tickets.
Bus Prices and Schedule
Here is an overview of Seoul to Jeonju bus fares and schedules:
Standard bus (one-way) – ₩22,000
Premium bus (one-way) – ₩25,000 – ₩29,000
First bus: 5:30am from Seoul
Last bus: 12:00am midnight from Seoul
Buses every 30 minutes
As you can see, buses run very frequently starting early morning till midnight. You generally don’t need to stress about buying tickets too far in advance unless travelling on holidays.
Bus Classes and Amenities
There are standard and premium intercity buses running from Seoul to Jeonju:
- Standard buses – Older buses without many amenities beyond basic seating. Budget friendly option.
- Premium buses – Newer buses with upgraded seating, extra legroom, USB charging ports, TV screens and even reclining chairs. Worth spending a little extra for comfort.
For luggage, you store bags in compartments under the bus and retrieve them yourself when arriving.
Travelling from Seoul to Jeonju by Train
Travelling from Seoul to Jeonju by train takes between 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours 25 minutes depending on the train type. Here’s an overview:
- Duration: 1h 45mins to 2h 25mins
- Frequency: Approximately hourly
- Price: ₩28,800+
- Comfort: Very comfortable, fast trains
While a bit more expensive than buses, trains offer the fastest way to travel from Seoul to Jeonju in under 2 hours. You can take the high-speed KTX bullet train running up to 300 km/h for the quickest trip.
There are no direct trains from Seoul to Jeonju. Instead you need to change trains at the major rail hub of Yongsan Station in Seoul which adds a bit of time. Still, the total journey is under 2 and a half hours.
Booking Seoul to Jeonju Train Tickets
You can book train tickets online via Korail’s English website or mobile app. Tickets can sell out quickly during peak times so book as early as possible.
You can also buy tickets at train station counters but queues may be long. Having an e-ticket on your phone is most convenient.
Train Fares and Timetables
Here is an overview of trains from Seoul to Jeonju including fares and schedules:
- KTX (High-speed) – ₩28,800+
- Saemaeul (Express) – ₩26,100+
- First train: 7:02am from Seoul
- Last train: 5:36pm from Seoul
- Hourly departures
As you can see, there are regular hourly train departures from early morning to evening. Prices start from ₩26,100 for express trains to ₩28,800+ for high-speed KTX bullet trains.
Driving from Seoul to Jeonju
Renting a car and driving to Jeonju offers the most flexibility to stop along the way. Here is an overview:
- Duration: 2 hours 10 minutes
- Distance: 204 km (127 miles)
- Cost: ₩32,760+ for fuel, tolls and rental
- Convenience: Offers chance to stop along the scenic route
Driving from Seoul to Jeonju takes around 2 hours 10 minutes covering 204 km along highways and expressways. This offers the chance to stop at attractions along the way.
You will need an International Driving Permit (IDP) and to rent a car in Seoul which starts around ₩60,000 per day. Factor in fuel, tolls and parking costs during your trip as well.
Having a Seoul T-Money transportation card is also useful for paying road and bridge tolls automatically during your drive.
Driving Route and Tips
The most direct Seoul to Jeonju driving route primarily covers two highways:
- Seoul–Munsan Expressway – From Seoul towards Icheon
- Honam Expressway – From Osong towards Jeonju
I’d recommend planning your route in advance via apps like Google Maps or Naver. Highways are very well signed but it helps to know what exits to take in advance.
Petrol stations, rest areas and conveniences stores are readily available along highways for washroom breaks or grabbing snacks.
Tips for Getting from Seoul to Jeonju
Here are some additional tips to help make your trip from Seoul to Jeonju smooth:
- For buses and trains, purchase tickets at least the day before during peak times
- Look up public transportation connections from stations to your hotel
- Travel early morning or late night to avoid heavy traffic
- Have maps and directions handy on your phone
- Bring some small bills and coins for buses, trains and tolls
I hope this guide gives you all the details you need to plan your own trip from Seoul to Jeonju! Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some common questions about travelling from Seoul to Jeonju:
Which is better – bus or train from Seoul to Jeonju?
Both buses and trains run very frequently between Seoul and Jeonju.
Buses are much more affordable while trains are faster. If you’re on a budget or don’t mind a slightly longer trip, buses are good. Trains are best for shorter or overnight trips where you want to maximize your time.
How long is the trip from Seoul to Jeonju?
Buses take around 2 hours 40 minutes direct while trains range from 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours 25 minutes depending on the train type.
Driving takes approximately 2 hours 10 minutes but gives flexibility to stop along the scenic route.
What is the cheapest way to get to Jeonju from Seoul?
The cheapest transportation option is taking the intercity bus from Seoul Express Bus Terminal to Jeonju. Standard one-way bus tickets start under ₩22,000.
Trains and driving cost more but are faster options.
Should I rent a car to drive from Seoul to Jeonju?
Renting a car allows you maximum flexibility to stop along the way. However, it is more expensive having to cover rental fees, fuel, tolls and parking.
I’d recommend renting a car only if you plan to make several stops along the scenic route or need to get around Jeonju extensively. Otherwise trains and buses are good enough.
How far in advance should I purchase tickets?
For buses and trains, it’s not usually necessary to buy tickets more than a day in advance unless travelling on holidays or weekends.
There are very frequent Seoul – Jeonju bus and train departures throughout the day making tickets easy to purchase last minute at stations.